The journey from New York didn’t take long. But it was boring. Nothing of interest at all to look at as we were on a motorway most of the way. 4 hours later we arrived at Union Station near Capitol Hill in DC.
It was hot here. Very hot. But just a 10 minute walk from the station and we were at our hotel – the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. Wow! How did we manage that?
Well we found a new website called hotwire.com. They use it a lot here in the States and basically you name the location you want to stay in, the maximum price you are willing to pay for a room, they send you some options (but don’t say what hotels they are), then only when you have booked and paid for it, they tell you where you are staying. $100 and we get the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, how cool is that? The cheapest hotels/hostels we could find start at $100, so to get this is just great for us
We booked two nights, but upon arrival extended another night to give us time to catch up with everything. We have so much planning and budgeting to catch up on we will be grateful for the good wifi connection here.
Tempting as it was to go out the day we arrived, we didn’t as we were pretty tired. Except to go out to eat of course but we came unstuck with that a bit as everything here shuts at 3:00pm. We could only find one little place open. Even they were empty and just about to close so we were lucky they were friendly and willing to stay open an extra half an hour to feed us.
Oh and how comfortable was this bed here. We could have stayed in it all day. It was great to be able to sleep in too and really catch up properly on our sleep. We did not miss Sara’s springy uncomfortable mattress at all.
So the next day here we didn’t go out just spent the whole day budgeting and planning. However, when the evening came, we had booked an evening tour of DC to see the city and monuments all lit up. The tour bus picked us up from the hotel and took us around many of them including:
The Capitol Building (with the Lady Liberty on top facing east as the sun should never set on the face of freedom!) The White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean Memorial, The Martin Luther King Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, The Washington Monument, The Roosevelt Memorial, Arlington Cemetery and The United States Marine Corps War Memorial
Martin Luther King Memorial
. Phew! Did I forget any???
Our favourite was the Martin Luther King Memorial which was very tastefully done, and the Korean War Memorial. We came across this in the dark and the figures just appeared out of the darkness. It was very subtle and just seemed very fitting. Well done again USA. Oh yes and we liked the statue by Arlington Cemetery with the group of soldiers holding the flag; the Iwo Jima Memorial. It’s proper name is the United States Marine Corps War Memorial and it is very picturesque at night.
Our driver Lloyd was a character. Lots of stories and humour in his commentary as he recited facts and stories about each one. Then he tested us! We were not expecting that. But he was so nice we didn’t mind and joined in the fun.
It was such a lovely way to see the monuments all lit up and of course doing a tour gave us a much better idea of how the city was laid out so we could plan for the following day. And there are hundreds of monuments, important buildings and museums to see here in DC.
Our last day here was a hot one too
The Capitol Building
. Now with a better understanding of the size of the city, we decided to walk back to a few places and spend a bit longer at them.
We started at the Capitol building, and then we walked down the Mall, to the Botanic Gardens, Smithsonian American Indian Museum, followed by the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
We didn’t spend too long in any but said if we were ever back in DC we would go back to the Native American Indian Museum as we found that quite interesting.
We slowed down because of the heat and stopped for an ice-cream. They wanted $3 for a tiny ice-cream. When Jody said to the lady that was extortionate for such a small ice-cream the lady offered to make it bigger. Jody said that would be wonderful thank you and the lady did just that. She made it huge. Then she said to Jody – That will be $5 please. What! we didn’t want to pay $3 so why would she think we would pay $5???
Jody refused to take the ice-cream from her and the lady realising she was now stuck with an ice-cream nobody wanted, relented and gave it to us for $3. Nice one Jody!
How big is that Ice Cream?
Next stop was the George Washington Memorial which being quite a way away meant we had lots of photo opportunities on the way. The GWM being very tall, offered a lot of shade from the heat when we got there. It was really interesting to look up as as the sun was going behind the very top, it created a kind of halo effect. Very pretty.
A short walk later we were on the front lawn of the White House. More photos before looking for a quick bite to eat. We tried the Old Ebbit Grill (which is where all the senators and polititians eat when they are in town apparently) but the queues were so long we at the Fuel pizza restaurant instead.
We walked back to Constitution Avenue (which used to be a canal and still has the old Lock Keepers Cottage) and caught the circular bus back to our hotel.
We had walked our little legs off today and all of it in plus 30 degree heat. We were ready for that comfy bed again!
Our last night here and we can honestly say we have had a really nice time here. The city is beautiful and everywhere is spotlessly clean. The people were very very friendly here, always helpful polite.